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Ladies Show The Way In Wall Ball Finals

posted 20 Jul 2017, 08:24 by Martin Lalor

In the All Ireland Wall Ball Championships at the weekend, Noelle Dowling (Mothel) and Margaret Purcell (Windgap) put on magnificent performances when winning the Girls 15 and under and the Ladies C titles. With Kilkenny having five representatives in the championships, it was up to the girls to keep the flag flying at the Mount Talbot venue in Roscommon.

All Ireland Winners

Travelling to the West of Ireland on Saturday, both Noelle and Margaret had won the right to represent Leinster following their wins in the provincial championships. In the Girls 15 and under semi-final, Noelle had a tough three set match against her Galway opponent, Sadhbh Ni Flaithearta. Winning the first set comfortably, 15-3, the Mothel girl narrowly lost the second 15-13, leading to a tie break situation. Here Noelle came out on top 11-3 to qualify for the decider against the Ulster champion Mairead Fox from Tyrone. In the final, Noelle had to dig deep as she was once again involved in a three set contest. The first game went in favour of Kilkenny, 15-7, with the Northern girl levelling the contest by winning the second set, 15-13. The deciding eleven aces was a tense affair, with Noelle prevailing to win her first Wall Ball title,11-7.

In the Ladies c grade, Margaret Purcell had two tough tie break battles with Sligo and Down on her way to the title. In her semi-final match with Laura Keever from Sligo, she lost the first game 14-15, levelled the contest when taking the second set, 15-7, and then sealed her place in the final when winning a nail biting tie break, 11-10. In the final against Michelle McCoy from Down, the first two games were shared with similar scores, 15-4. To decide the championship, the tie break to 11 was won convincingly by the Windgap lady, 11-2, thus ensuring a great win for the determined South Kilkenny lady.

Elsewhere in the other grades involving Kilkenny there was defeat in the final of the Boys 17 and under and a semi-final loss in Boys 15 and under. Following his recent win in the Irish Nationals, Eoin Brennan from Kells was aiming to add the All Ireland 17 and under title to his ever growing growing collection of trophies. He overcame Jason O’Tuathaill (Galway) 15-1, 15-9 in his semi-final match, but was then beaten in the decider by Dara Curran (Tyrone), 15-9, 15-9. In Boys 15 and under, Jack Doyle (Windgap) lost a three set semi-final to Mikey Kelly (Galway), 15-12, 13-15, 1-11. In the Mens Open grade, Leinster’s representative, Peter Funchion from Kells had to concede a walkover in his semi-final against Connaught due to illness.

60 x 30 Nationals

This weekend one of the biggest tournaments on the 60 x 30 calendar takes place in Wexford. Hosted last year by Kilkenny, the Irish Nationals return to the South East this Saturday and Sunday when players from across Ireland travel to Wexford. There are strong fields in all the grades, with particular interest in the Mens and Ladies Open events, which offer ranking points to the winners.

Ducksy Walsh Tournament

On Saturday week, the memorial Ducksy Walsh Tournament will be played at venues around the County. Converging on Kilkenny for the day are the top 60 x 30 players in Ireland, as they all attempt to win this event in memory of the greatest handballer of all time. With round robin matches taking place at Talbots Inch, Kilfane, Clogh and Mullinavat on the Saturday morning, the winning pair from each of these venues will contest the semi-finals at Talbots Inch in the afternoon, followed by the final. Also on display on the day will be a juvenile exhibition featuring some of the best players in Kilkenny, and the final of the GAA sponsored U13B development tournament.

U13B Tournament

This Saturday the Kilkenny GAA Sponsored 60 x 30 U13B Doubles tournament takes place in Mullinavat and Clogh. In its second year this event has created interest in the 60 x 30 game and is, once again, well supported by all the clubs in the county.